Logo | Geol 370 Home | Calendar | Assignments | Syllabus | Geog/Geol Dept | UWSP |

GLACIAL MASS BALANCE

A. Introduction

Learning outcomes - You should be able to:

Readings


Diagram: alpine mass balanceB. Mass Balance Classification of Glaciers

Components

Diagram: ice sheet mass balance

Photo: alpine firn line Image credit above: Austin S. Post (1961) Tenas Tikke Glacier. From the Online Glacier Photograph Database. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Digital media.

Image credit right: Austin S. Post (1960) Honeycomb Glacier. From the Online Glacier Photograph Database. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Digital media.

Photo: alpine firn line

Classification

Glacier mass balance map
Image credit above: R.A. Rohde (2006) Global Warming Art http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Glacier_Mass_Balance_png

Image credit right: 2004 Bruce F. Molnia, USGS; 1941 W.O. Field, National Snow and Ice Data Center. Image composed by R.A. Rohde (2006) Global Warming Art http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Muir_Glacier_jpg

Image credit below left: NPS/Guy Adema. 2011. Glacier trends and response to climate in Denali National Park and Preserve.
http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/index.cfm?ArticleID=509

Image credit below right: USGS. 2017. Mass balance - measuring glacier change. Glaciers and Climate Project; Glaciology Projects.

Muir Glacier 1941 & 2004


Measurement and Calculation


C. Climatic Influences on Mass Balance

Image Credit: PRISM Climate Group. http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/normals/

Map: normal precipitation in the western US (PRISM)Precipitation

Temperature

Sunlight (radiant energy)


D. Non-climatic Influences on Mass Balance

Sliding rates

Oceanic circulation and ocean water temperatures


E. Glacier Response to Changes in Mass Balance


F. Relationship Between Mass Balance and Glacier Flow

Flow:

Flow rate dependent on:


G. Summary

Mass balance

Calculation

Classification and response

Relationship between mass balance gradient & flow rate

Current Global Picture Link icon

Greenland thinning due to ice melting and faster ice flow to the sea.
Map: Greenland thinning
Image credit: NASA Visible Earth; NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio. http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=655

Photos: McCarty Glacier retreat
Image credit: 2004 Bruce F. Molnia, USGS; 1909 Ulysses Sherman Grant, USGS. Image composed by R.A. Rohde (2006) Global Warming Art http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:McCarty_Glacier_jpg


| Next Lecture | Previous Lecture | Calendar | Geol 370 Home |
©Karen A. Lemke: klemke@uwsp.edu
Last revised January 10, 2017